Pachacámac – city and holy oracle

  • Pachacámac

  • Pachacámac - city and holy oracle

Even if the Spaniards, after the conquest of Peru, tried to obscure the evidence of ancient cultures, they are present, safe and preserved in museums and archaeological sites, to give many more generations an image of the advanced cultures of South America .

Pachacámac is one of those archaeological sites. It is located about 40 kilometers southeast of downtown Lima. The city of Pachacámac existed before the time of the Incas. It expanded at the time of the Wari culture. This was one of the local cultures of South America that existed before the Incas. Later, other temples and buildings were created under the Ichma. Today the buildings that united the Incas are mainly preserved.

The area is located on a hill, with an unobstructed view of the sea. The adobe buildings are visually mixed with the land on which they were built. The result is a harmonious combination of architectural elements and the partially yellow-brown hillside slopes of the hill.

Well-preserved temple from the Inca period

In Pachacámac was the main oracle of the Peruvian coast, pilgrimage for people from the most remote places of Peru. However, after the arrival of the Incas, Pachacámac slowly became a sacred administrative city.

Today you can still see the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon, which the Incas built. The temple of the sun has a special geometry. The terraces have the shape of a truncated pyramidal body and cover the interior of the temple rooms. On the upper terrace, the solar cult was held, which was the main ceremony of the Inca culture. The remains of painting suggest that the temple was originally painted in red.

The Spaniards, who arrived in Lima with Francisco Pizarro, desecrated the temple and burned the wooden statue of the god Pachacámac. In front of the temple there is a place that was probably used by the pilgrims as a place of meeting and residence. The lunar temple, whose name is still in dispute today, shows many of the typical characteristics of the Inca architectural style, including the trapezoidal niches, which are believed to be images of the gods. In addition to the sacred buildings, there are also buildings for daily use on the site, such as apartments and administrative buildings, as well as some pyramids on ramps, although in a more advanced stage of decomposition. Of particular value is the so-called painted temple, on whose walls you can see drawings of fish, birds and plants.

The Pachacamac Museum

On the site of the archaeological site is a museum. In the modern building, which was adapted to the architectural landscape of the ancient site, testimonies of the Wari, Ichma and Inca cultures are exhibited. These include ceramics, textiles and wood and metal objects. Among other things, among the exhibits is a wooden idol of the god Pachacámac, in honor of which the city was built. The museum offers a global vision of the cultures that lived of the Spaniards in the Peruvian coast.